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HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

901 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met for recognitions Tuesday,

March 31, 2015, at 5:30 p.m., in the School Board Auditorium, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Acting Superintendent Jeff Eakins, and Board Members Doretha W. Edgecomb, Sally Harris, Melissa Snively, Cindy Stewart, and Susan Valdes present.  Chair S. Valdes presided.

Absent:  Carol Kurdell, April Griffin 

Others present were:

Deputy Superintendents:    Vacant

Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:

      Academic Support and Federal Programs –Larry Sykes

      Administration – Lewis Brinson

      Business – Gretchen Saunders - absent

      Curriculum and Instruction – Denny Oest

      Facilities – Chris Farkas

      Governmental Relations – Connie Milito - absent

      Human Resources – Stephanie Woodford – absent – Mark Wes

      Information and Technology/Empowering Effective Teachers Grant – Anna Brown – Sam Whitten

      Student Services – Wynne Tye

Communications Officer – Stephen Hegarty

External Communications Manager – Tanya Arja

External Communications Assistant Manager - Kristin Davis

Senior Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Linda Fernandez

Approximately 150 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

Call to Order:  meeting called to order at 5:30 p.m.

Moment of Silence and Pledge of Allegiance:  Moment of silence followed by Vice Chair Edgecomb leading in the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag. 

Board – Roll Call:  Chair S. Valdes said five Board Members present.  Mrs. Griffin and Mrs. Kurdell absent.

Board Guidelines

Vice Chair Edgecomb read the guidelines into the record.



The Hillsborough Education Foundation Will Recognize One Individual and Two Companies for their Support to its Mission (Hillsborough Education Foundation)

Mr. Merrell Dickey, representing Phil Jones, President, Hillsborough Education Foundation made brief remarks and presented certificates to the following sponsors:


  • Senton Pojani, Director Technology Practice, Armed Forces Communication Electronics Association – made brief remarks and presented Superintendent Eakins with a Chapter Coin for the work the district performs for our students.
  • Ray Hodorski, Director of Account Management Humana (Not in attendance.)
  • Robert Graham, Community Volunteer, has supported the foundations’ mentoring program.  He made brief remarks.  He asked the board to help them find mentors for their path to college.  Quality Group Mentor Committee asked the Superintendent to participate.



Recognition of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Governor’s Shine Award (Curriculum and Instruction Division)

Larry Plank, Director K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, gave a brief history of the Governor’s Shine Award, highlighted Ms. Traynham’s career, and introduced Sue Traynham, Sickles High School.  She was presented a certificate and acknowledged her husband and principal Jake Russell who were here to support her.


Recognition of District Representatives for the Sunshine State Scholars Program for 2014/2015 (Curriculum and Instruction Division)

Larry Plank, Director K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, briefly outlined the Sunshine State Scholars Program, highlighted Madison Baker, East Bay High School and Alain Hyacinthe, Newsome High School’s educational career.  Alain Hyacinthe could not be present.  Students were presented certificates.  Kevin and Tara Baker were present and recognized.  Mrs. Edgecomb made comments.


Recognition of the 2014 Tampa Bay Technology Forum Industry Achievement Educator of the Year Award (Curriculum and Instruction Division)

Larry Plank, Director K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, highlighted the criteria for the award and introduced Scott Coonfare, Gibsonton Elementary School, who was presented a certificate.  Dr. Plank highlighted his career.


Recognition of the 2014/2015 Middle School District Champions for Track and Soccer, the Florida High School Athletics Association State Champions for Cheerleading and Wrestling, and the National Federation of High School Associations Wrestling Coach of the Year (Student Services Division)

Jennifer Burchill, Assistant Director of Athletics introduced middle school representatives and Lanness Robinson, Director of Athletics, introduced high school representatives.  Not all team members could attend but they were acknowledged as part of the team.

Burnett Middle School – Girls Track District Champions
Representative:  Michelle Alvarez-Hardin
Coach:  Heather New, Sharon Oliver, and Willie Brown

Ani Wells

Shannon Lise

Tomisha Scott

Abbigale Garrison

Tabitha Gray

Zora Strawder


Aaliyah Bros

Madeline Houston

Katie Tafuni

Progress Village Middle Magnet School – Boys Track District Champions
Principal:  Andrew Olson
Coach:  Jose Pequeno and Tom Simpson.  (Mandy Steinke and Teresa Ferguson also coach but were not present.)

Relay Team and Alternates


Kobe Smith

Elijah Stokes

Donovan Bell

Levi Williams

Marwan Gilmore


Cedrick Salter

D’Ante Ford


Farnell Middle School – Girls Soccer District Champions
Principal:  John Cobb
Coach:  Patrick Dominque

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Alexis Willis

Hannah Carson

Julie Besnard – Captain

Tess Carlton

Jackie Bletsch

Olivia Dague – Captain

Kristen Conroy

Kennedy Baca

Svea Kaller – Captain

Ava Wallace

Chloe Napolitano

Brianna Joseph – Captain

Ava Minnis

Gloria Cardin

Jordan Kersey – Captain

Gabby Harper

Reagan Wimberly

Bria Ziegler

Fiona McCormick


Christina Rodriguez



Kali Schectman



Hayden Scott



Madison Mullins



Rachel Johnson



Hannah Parker

Tomlin Middle School, Boys Soccer District Champions
Principal:  Susan Sullivan
Coach:  David Sweat introduced Adrian Olivo and Brian Arteaga Co-Captains who introduced their teammates.  They thanked the coach for his support in helping their team grow in friendships as well as ability.

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Brendan Brown

Sky Copen

Brian Arteaga

Cristian Chavez

Bryan Garcia

Alexis Garcia

Ashton (Bo) Copen

Miguel Guevara

Jair Garcia-Avalo

Jonathan Espinoza

Rex Lott

Ricardo Gonzalez

Jordy Garcia

Christian Ortiz

David Jalomo

Luis Olivo


Luis Leos

Bryan Perez


Parker Messick

Na’Daniel Perez


Adrian Olivo

Alex Rosales


Braxton Plunk

David Ruiz


Ben Pues

Christian Zavala


Cade Shissler

FHSAA, Class 2A Small Division Co-Ed – Cheerleading State Championship Team – Strawberry Crest High School
Principal:  David Brown
Assistant Principal:  Jasmine Tramble
Coach:  Loveny Rivas, Assistant Coaches – Chelsea Martin-Rivas, and Anthony Medina

Alyssa Archer

Ami Barnes

Alyssa Byrd

Cassidy Coday

Brooke Conyers

Cameron Cornett

Destiny Cox

Shaquira Cruz

Shauntelle Cruz

Halee Dixon

Taylor Fales

Amer Farmer

Georgia Foster

Michael Gleason

Savannah Himmelein

Kelsey Howard

Quinn Hyde

Kaitlyn Kubecka

Tarra Love

Devonte Lowe

Dakota McNamee

Chelsea Newman

Alexis Powell

Savannah Reagan

Brigitte Sparks

Julia Strickland

McKenzie-Nicole Talavera

Maddisyn Taylor

Mya Turner

Sergio Valentin

Carmen Watts

Kayla Watts

Tamara Williams

FHSAA, Class 1A, 113 – Individual Wrestling State Champion – Strawberry Crest High School
Coach:  CJ Giddens
Cullen Tulfer

Lanness Robinson introduced Jennifer Carrie Greco, Assistant Principal who introduced Coach Russ Cozart.  Coach Cozart introduced his team.

FHSAA, Class 2A, 120 – Individual Wrestling State Champion - Brandon High School
Kyle Norstrem

FHSAA, Class 2A, 152 – Individual Wrestling State Champion – Brandon High School
Troy Joyce

FHSAA, Class 2A, 170 – Individual Wrestling State Champion – Brandon High School
Dakota Greene

FHSAA, Class 2A – State Wrestling Championship Team – Brandon High School.  Brandon High School has been the state champions for 25 consecutive years.

Wrestling Team Members:

Connor Ballard

Francesco Bruno

Hunter Colbert

Geoffrey Doback

Clyde Fretwell, IV

Dakota Greene

Giovanni Hernandez

Devin Holzman

Tyrique Jordan

Troy Joyce

Michael Lovely

Ryan Mandell

Joel Marcano

DaQuan McCloud

Xavier Medina Ramos

D’eonte Mitchell

Collin Newman

Kyle Norstrem

Alexander Popke

Scott Rauschert

Lawrence Scrivens

Bailey Shepherd



Lanness Robinson recognized Coach Russ Cozart, who was named by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHSP) as National Wrestling Coach of the Year.


Recognition of the National Medalists and Regional Gold Key Winners of the 2015 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (Curriculum and Instruction Division)

Elizabeth Brown, Supervisor, Secondary Language Arts and Dana Warner, Supervisor, K-12 Art, who made brief comments and recognized:

  • Alyssa Gilbert, Blake High School – Gold Medal
  • Rebecca Jefferson, Blake High School – Silver Medal
  • Merritt Lay, Blake High School – Silver Medal
  • Isabel Hanewicz, Robinson High School – American Voices Medal – Smoking in the Shadows
  • Laura Wu, Turner/Bartels K-8 School 
    Christine Calhoun, Art Teacher
    Melissa Grady, Jonathan Grantham and family were recognized.


Recognition of Career and Technical Student Organizations Competition Award Recipients (Curriculum and Instruction Division)

Pamela Walden, Supervisor, Agribusiness and JROTC, made brief remarks and introduced the Sickles High School JROTC Air Force Division members:

Hayden Knight, Commander



Randolph Pandis

Alexis Betances

Weston Moneyham

Nick Vetere

Amanda Arocovick

Lindsey Evangelist

Andrew Krivoruchka

Dominic Sardegna

David Telford

MSgt William Robinson, Coach
Jake Russell, Principal
Lt. Col. Robert Marasco, Assistant Coach/SASI


Recognition of National Board Certified Teachers Student Services Division)

David Peacock, HCTA Member Services Specialist and Aimee Ballans, District National Board Certified Teacher, made brief remarks highlighting the program for the highest certification available.

2014 National Board Renewals


  • Jennifer Apgar, Ferrell Middle School
  • Heather Dean, Lockhart Elementary School
  • Jodie Donahoo, Bryant Elementary School
  • Lori Eichelberger, Newsome High School
  • Jennifer Gordon, Sickles High School
  • Jaqueline Milak, Pride Elementary School
  • Monica Nannis, Leto High School
  • Caroline Octtavani, Lanier Elementary School
  • Elizabeth Pletcher, Alafia Elementary School
  • Jacqueline Sizemore, Durant High School
  • Mara Torres Crosby, Memorial Middle School
  • Denise Wheatley, Tinker Elementary School

2014 National Board New Achievers

  • Joan Charles, Clair Mel Elementary School
  • Jamie Galvon, Pinecrest Elementary School
  • Phillip Goodchild, Lennard High School
  • Sally Henderson, West Tampa Elementary School
  • Martha Landron, Robinson High School
  • Erin Saladino, Dover Elementary School


Recognition of Hillsborough County Public Schools "Road-eo" Bus Drivers (Facilities Division)

James Beekman, General Manager, Transportation made brief and introduced 1st and 2nd place winners who will go on to National competition in Minnesota in July.

Cassandra Varnes, 1st place in the state, Area 5 Bus Driver – 20 years of service

Dorothy Knight, 2nd place in the state, Area 6 Bus Driver – 21 years of service

Mr. Beekman recognized the following retirees who were present:

  • Patricia Walker, Driver – 30 years of service
  • Alicia Satches, Driver – 30 years of service
  • Henry Holder, Attendant -31 years of service
  • Shirley Priestley, Driver – 30 years of service
  • Mary Lockhart, Driver – 28.5 years of service
  • Linda Briggs, Driver – 29 years of service
  • Eileen Hay, Driver – 32 years of service
  • Bonnie Dukes, Driver – 35 years of service

He also recognized the transportation employees and Rodeo Committee members who were in the audience to support this recognition.  There was a PowerPoint presentation in the background during the recognition.

Comments by Mrs. Stuart, Mrs. Harris, Ms. Edgecomb, Mrs. Snively, and Chair S. Valdes. 


Recognition of Idlewild Baptist Church’s Day of Caring

Robert Wegmann, General Manager, Maintenance, introduced Pastor Barry Chesney of Idlewild Baptist Church who made brief remarks about the Day of Caring.  In February, 386 people in the congregation participated in the Day of Caring supporting our schools.  Pastor Chesney said they are working with Mr. Farkas to have a similar event later on in the year.

Comments by Mrs. Stuart.

Audio recording on file.

Meeting adjourned 6:51 p.m.

HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

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